What do you do after you’ve escaped Hell, gone back, uncovered the true nature of God, and then managed to become the new Lucifer?
Well, if you’re James Stark, you have to figure out how to run Hell while also trying to get back out of it . . . again. Plus there’s the small matter of surviving. Because everyone in Heaven, Hell, and in between wants to be the fastest gun in the universe, and the best way to do so is to take down Lucifer, a.k.a. James Stark.
And it’s not like being in L.A. is any better–a serial-killer ghost is running wild and Stark’s angelic alter ego is hiding among the lost days of time with a secret cabal who can rewrite reality. Starting to care for people and life again is a real bitch for a stone-cold killer.
AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – A-
“Welcome to Hell. It’s just like high school but with more boredom and entrails.”
I must confess, I have not read all the books in this series. I’ve read Sandman Slim and enjoyed it immensely, but I missed books 2 and 3. Having said that, I honestly feel that I really didn’t feel lost when I read Devil Said Bang. The author did an excellent job of recapping prior events. I will go back and read Kill the Dead and Aloha from Hell soon, just to fill in the details.
I loved Devil Said Bang and here’s why:
The World – This is a dark urban fantasy, set in Convergence L.A. where Hell is a mirror image of present day Los Angeles. The real Lucifer has left Downtown (Hell) and guess who is now Lucifer – yup, James Stark aka Sandman Slim. Of course, EVERYONE wants to kill him.
Which brings us to The Politics – In a way, the politics of Hell mirror our present day politics only much more lethal. There is some diabolical scheming going on in Hell and many characters want to be the number one guy. Lucifer doesn’t really have patience for the political machinations and he rapidly learns what pisses the Hellions off.
“I can’t believe I’m learning how politics and court intrigue work. I feel a little dirty. I miss punching people. “
I loved the eccentric characters and beings in this series. Stark (Lucifer) exudes attitude and snark. He has a wry sense of humor. Stark has a commanding presence and he is street smart. Stark’s relative Wild Bill is a hoot, demon marked and forced to run a saloon in convergence L.A. There’s Candy – think land shark meets a vampire – and you have Candy, a Jade. Candy is Stark’s love interest but she swings both ways. I found Kasabian intriguing. Poor guy lost his body and was just a talking head, literally. Now he is attached to a mechanical steampunkish Hellhound. Slimy and scheming, Kasabian makes for a perfect foil for Stark.
“I get Rin Tin Tin’s gnawed off bones and you get to look like Robocop – story of my life.”
There are some pretty interesting gadgets in this book. Lucifer (Stark) gets access to a special armor that makes him impossible to kill, though that doesn’t stop people from trying. He also has the Magic 8 Ball, a fascinating weapon that always returns to him. The hellhounds are truly grotesque – part animal, part steampunk contraption, and always faithful to Stark. Truly horrifying.
The plot was action packed and full of twists and turns. The book was difficult to put down, despite the fact that it lacked chapter breaks. Plan your bio breaks accordingly!
The Sandman Slim series would appeal to lovers of dark urban fantasy. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Series Reading Order:
- Sandman Slim
- Kill the Dead
- Aloha from Hell
- Devil Said Bang
- Kill City Blues (working title) Release expected in 2013
Rating: 4 Skulls
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
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